18 Feb, Thursley, (10,12)

Dear Shabi’s

18th February 2020

Yet again it was Smashie to lead but he had been knobbled by Genghis who wanted to visit the “bunker” and the “Atlantic Wall”.

Usually it is this point in the blog where the character of some unsuspecting rider is put under the microscope however there is a slight problem this week as the High Court have served an injunction banning any further character assassination until the case of Defamation of Client LGBTQ+, represented by Sue Grabbit and Runne vs Smashie, represented by Wright and Doolittle is heard in the High Court.

So Smashie, who was RM, decided to lead the ride in reverse – that is to say riding forwards in the normal fashion but reversing the usual route …but still travelling forwards but also backwards.

An excellent turnout with Nurse Brown, Strangely Brown, Big Ring, Chuffy, LBD, Tonka, Mastic Man, Genghis, Faff Cheeks and Smashie = 10 riders!

The first 20ft were all under control but form here the familiar landmarks that have distinguished this ride all became very unfamiliar. Thus the peleton were let by an RM who, with many years practice, was outwardly in complete control and sure of both location and direction, whilst inside, hopelessly lost.

The first section of the ride was downhill on firm ground and the group fairly raced along to come to a grinding halt whilst the RM “checked the stars” for alignment.

With the stars aligned we head on the Hankley Common proper in search of Hilter’s Bunker. After a few “retreats” and more consultation with the alignment of the stars we reach the ridge of Hankley Common.

More excellent riding on firm wet sand and we reach the bunker – the site of Hitler’s last stand – sadly nothing remains of the Fuhrer or his mistress so a bit of an anti-climax. In time honoured fashion we pose for a picture atop the structure and look for Baby Dinosaurs.

The infamous 'Hitler' Bunker

Then Mastic man steps to the front and says he knows the way to the “Atlantic Wall” – the RM is very relieved as the consultation with the stars was not going well. So, Mastic man sets off at a tremendous speed with total confidence – the peleton follow in total obedience.

Now your blogger asks you to imagine you are raw recruit in the army and after 6 weeks of marching up and down the parade square, saluting anything that moves, and painting anything that doesn’t – you have been allowed out into the wilderness of Hankley Common. You have heard all the legendary stories of the time when the Para’s used to train here and that Hitler was burned alive nearby. You are scared and very wet and very cold – you have been in your dugout for over 10 minutes now and things are going badly and the NCO’s are being particularly mean.

SUDDENLY you see a line of nearly 20 bright lights heading your way – they weave in and out of the trees but they keep coming and coming. OMG it’s the paras you think, and wonder if you claim to be a virgin they will use a condom?

THEN you realise why your NCO’s are the backbone of the British Army – one shouts “HALT” and as if by a miracle, the lights turn around and go away exclaiming RETREAT RETREAT – well this army malarkey is actually quite simple after all.

So with the balance of this blog restored in a lefty liberal BBC elite sort of way, we return to the SHABI peleton who reflect that we will have to visit again another day. By now we have suffered a number of falls to Nurse Brown, Strangely, Big Ring and Chuffy.

Using the stars for guidance the RM now ploughs on with very little idea of where he is but eventually, he brings everyone up at a multi cross roads – he consults the stars once more and heads off with firm resolution. Sadly, the Peleton have rumbled the situation and follow on behind somewhat reluctantly. However, against the run of play, our RM successfully gets everyone to the boardwalk and we tootle along that most scenic boggy landscape.

Then, full of confidence the RM gets lost again and takes the Peleton through water so deep it reaches the axles of the front wheels and overtops everyone’s winter warmer boots. Lost and with wet feet, the Peleton are beginning to get grumpy.

Then as if by a miracle, we arrive in good order back at the pub. There is celebration all around and the RM thanks his lucky stars.